A company that provides usersaccess to the Internet. Before you can connect to the Net, you must first establish an account with an ISP. For a monthly fee, the Internet Service Provider gives you a software package, a username, a password, and an access phone number. Once you install the software on your computer and go through the registration process, you'll be able to surf the Web, send e-mail, chat, and read the newsgroups, among many other things.
ISPs have a wide range of prices and packages to choose from. For example, there are accounts tailored for large companies, providing a direct connection from the company's network to the Internet, and there are accounts for individuals who only plan on moderate usage, connecting by dial-up. The best thing to do when choosing an ISP is to be sure it has a local access number so you won't have to dial long-distance (or pay toll charges) to connect. Also try to get an account that offers unlimited access, as well as free Web space for you to house your own Web site.
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